Thursday, April 1, 2021

Building and testing Node.js apps with Azure DevOps Pipelines

Learn how to built, test and run code coverage analysis on a Node.js app using Azure DevOps Pipelines
Photo by Chirstopher Gower on Unsplash

Setting up an Azure DevOps pipeline is not too complicated. On this tutorial, let's learn how to setup a simple pipeline to a basic Node.js app so we can build, test and capture test results and report code coverage analysis, exposing them to everyone in the team.

On this tutorial we will:

  • Create a new DevOps Pipeline
  • Build our project
  • Configure DevOps to read the outputs of our tests and test coverage

Sample Project

This tutorial can be executed using this repository. 

Setting up a Connection

To get started, we have to grant Azure DevOps access to your external repo, GitHub on this case. To configure a new connection, click on Project Settings on the bottom left in your navigation bar:

Then click on Boards -> GitHub connections:

Now, click on New Connection:

And click Connect your GitHub account:

Finish the integration by entering your username/password and authorizing access to your GitHub account and repositories.

Creating a new DevOps Pipeline

Now that your Azure DevOps has access to your GitHub repos, let's build our first pipeline. Click on Pipelines -> New Pipeline on top right to create a new one:

Choose a source repository

Next, select where your project is located. Since we're using GitHub for this demo, click on it:

And choose, one of your existing repositories:

Configuring the Pipeline

Next, DevOps will ask you to specify your project type. Since we're building a Node.js project, choose it from that list:

Click Next and you should see a default build yaml for your new project that should look more a less like this:

  vmImage: 'ubuntu-latest'

- task: NodeTool@0
    versionSpec: '10.x'
  displayName: 'Install Node.js'
- script: |
    npm install
    npm run build
  displayName: 'npm install and build'

Running our first build

If all your dependencies can be satisfied by npm, most likely your project can be built so click Save and run so that DevOps builds your project for the first time:

By clicking on the columns on the left, we can even inspect the result of the build. For example, here's the output of npm install and build:

Coming back to out pipeline page, we get our first successful build:

Step 4 - Setup Unit Test reporting

But as good as the initial template is, it does not auto-enable unit-testing and code coverage reporting, so let's set it up. To change the pipeline in the future, click on the Dots menu -> Edit Pipeline:

You'll be redirected to the editor. On the Tasks menu on the right, type test results and click on Publish Test Results to add it as a new task in our azure-pipelines.yml file:

Next screen, select JUnit, follow the configuration below and click Add:

Step 5 - Setup Code Coverage reporting

Similarly, type code coverage on the Tasks menu on the right, to add the code coverage task:

And set:

  • Coverage tool: Cobertura
  • Summary file: coverage/cobertura-coverage.xml

Review and Save

The above steps should have added something similar to the below on your azure-pipelines.yml:

- task: PublishTestResults@2
    testResultsFormat: 'JUnit'
    testResultsFiles: '**/TEST-*.xml'
- task: PublishCodeCoverageResults@1
    codeCoverageTool: 'Cobertura'
    summaryFileLocation: 'coverage/cobertura-coverage.xml'
The menus and buttons we clicked are nothing more than helpers to add the above code. Feel free to explore the editor and properties for each field since it contains intellisense.

Click Save and Run again to produce a new build. Once your build is finished, it should show up in the pipeline's main screen:

Reviewing Test Results and Test Coverage

To wrap it up, let's review our test results/coverage reports. Clicking on the second build should take you to the build page:

Highlighted in the above image, both are links that take us to the tests page so we can review test results:

Cool, isn't it? Clicking on the cover tests link above, we're taken to the Code Coverage page where we're able to see the code coverage in our project:


On this article we reviewed how to setup a simple Azure DevOps pipeline to build, test and report code coverage for a basic NodeJS app exposing them in the build. Azure DevOps is a pretty powerful CI/CD system but unfortunately, often ignored by the community. Feel free to explore it!

Source Code

As always, the source code for this post is available on my GitHub.


See Also

About the Author

Bruno Hildenbrand      
Principal Architect, HildenCo Solutions.